Recently one of my InDesign students asked me, “How would I make a double-sided saddle-stiched booklet? In other words, when I lay out the body pages I will have to figure out which 2 pages will be facing and then kinda rearrange everything accordingly. Is there any shortcut in InDesign that can speed up this process?”
If you don’t understand what she means, hopefully this visual below will help! Basically, you can see how your spreads follow a natural order as you’re designing them in InDesign. But if you need to print your work to be layered and saddle stitched, it means that the order of your pages has to change entirely to work in the stitched booklet.
The process of rearranging the pages is called imposition, and the good news is, it’s not your job! Phew!
If you are printing this yourself, from your InDesign document straight to your printer (it’s actually unlikely that you’d be using your own printer for a more professional job like this), simply go to File > Print Booklet. This will give you options to choose how your booklet will come together, and InDesign will print accordingly.
BUT, more likely, a project like this will be printed through a professional printer, and the good news is, this is THEIR JOB, not yours! Simply prepare your PDF, and bring it to your printer. They will run it through expensive software that will prepare it for printing.
Since I have only done this with large printing presses and large print runs, I contacted Karen from Cougar Copy, which is my favorite print center in my area. She had great advice to share! (I cannot recommend highly enough finding a printer you can trust and developing a good relationship with that printer! Karen runs her own print shop and has been able to answer any question I have had for her, or troubleshoot any problem! So if you are in Utah County like I am, you would be wise to make Cougar Copy your default printer, too!) Here’s an excerpt from her email:
Most shops should have the capability to set up a booklet with the customer providing individual pages in numerical order with bleed on all four sides. It is a very expensive plugin so some places may not have it, but most mid size places will. If the document is created in any of the Adobe Creative Suite programs with the bleed setup, the software we use to format everything recognizes the bleed and adjusts accordingly to make everything line up properly.
So long story short, it is not your job to worry about this unless you are printing on your home printer. (Which, again, is unlikely with a job like this!)
I get a lot of printing questions, and plan on writing several more blog posts about printers, the process, file preparation, etc. If you have specific questions about printing, feel free to leave them in the comments on this post. And if you are interested in learning to use InDesign, I of course recommend my InDesign 101 course!